The Millennium Menhir

Raising the menhir

We are regularly asked how the garden’s menhir, which was erected to mark the turning of the Millennium, got here. The answer is that it came from a worked out 19th Century quarry on Bodmin Moor. In the quarry field boulders were split to make stones for use in construction. To make the splits the masons hand drilled a series of holes, inserted timber plugs and then wetted the plugs to split the stone. In this case the stone split to a tapered shape which was rejected for building work but is just what we wanted. The hand drilled hole marks on the split face are still clearly visible.

The stone was delivered close to its final site on a trailer was then dragged into position and erected using the winch on the Defender. Finally it was concreted securely into position. The menhir weighs just over 3t so the operation required some careful planning.

Tree felling

Tree felling on a steep slope can be a challenge, especially as in this case we wanted the tree, which was leaning downhill, to fall uphill. The answer was to attach a winch cable to the tree and lead it through a block on another tree higher up. For this, and so much tree work around the garden, we find our Land Rover Defender with a 4t winch mounted on the front bumper is an invaluable tool.